I’m in love with my UPS man

Yep. I said it. I love him. Of course, now that it’s cold, he wears a coat and a hat and is all bundled up. But in the summer, those cute little brown shorts can come knocking on my door any day.

That’s because he brings me PRESENTS!!! Presents that I order for myself, presents that my parents send me, and even the occasional present from a friend who just wants to brighten my day. It does happen! But it’s always fun to see him stop in front of my house and carry some mystery surprise box to my door.

Every since discovering the amazing power of Amazon Prime, my first thought is always, “Can I get that from Amazon?” Prime is fast, free and cheap! Well, not everything is cheap, but some things are decidedly cheapER than at a store. So I can place an order Monday for something, it usually comes by Wednesday. Sometimes it comes on Tuesday! Yes, next day service baby!

With the vitamins and some supplements I take, they are much much cheaper on Amazon. Throw in free shipping and sit back waiting for that cute little truck to pull down my street. We needed a new water filter for our fridge. Not only was it 20% (yes, 20%!!!) cheaper than a local store, the local store was sold out. So I got it delivered from Amazon, for free and didn’t have to hunt all over for a silly water filter.

I would like to throw in the added perk of buying Amazon gift cards from my local grocery which gives me money off my gas for every $50 of gift cards bought. So I save money buying the water filter, but I also get money towards gas. Tell me what’s not to like?

Now, I looooove to shop local. Love it. My area has a great eclectic choice of stores. I buy a lot of Christmas and birthday gifts locally. But there are times where getting the deal is better than shopping local at a huge mark up.

Before you start thinking this is some paid advertisement for Amazon, it is not! (However, if Amazon would like to be added a sponsor to this blog, please contact me. No reasonable offer will be refused) I also order stuff from Avon and it’s delivered right to my door. I order show tickets and calendars and flaxseed and coffee!

Coffee!! Oh it is so much cheaper to order K cups online and have them delivered right to my door! And the variety is without question so much better than a store. Yes, the local groceries have what looks to be like a large selection, until you get online. Coffees, teas, cocoas, iced lattes, the choices can feel a bit overwhelming. It’s best to have something a tad specific in mind before you order or next thing you know, you’re monthly coffee order is over $200 and the poor UPS guy needs a dolly to get your order to the door.

Can you imagine giddy I’m going to be if Amazon really does start using drones for delivery?? I’ll be ordering stuff every single day just to watch that sucker land on my porch. I better go get some more gift cards.

UPS man

winter ups man

What are you doing?

Lately I have been hearing rapid fire questions, sometimes with such voracity it takes me by surprise. Things like, “What are you doing?” “How did you do that?” or my personal favorite, “What’s your secret?”

Things like that freak me out. Freak. Me. Out. First of all, I’m the fat girl who is not used to being questioned about fitness. Second, I wonder how many people pay even a fraction of attention to what I put out there, almost daily, about what I do. I’m the exact opposite of being shy. I blog, I tweet, I Facebook daily. Multiple times a day.

Now, before I continue, I want to be clear that I am not angry, mad, upset, or heaven forbid, insulted. Just freaked out and shocked. I still don’t see me as others see me. I still see the flaws and lumps and the additional pounds I want gone. I know, I know, I need to work on that. Add it to the list of things to work on.

It finally dawned on me a few weeks ago that what some people were asking without asking is if I was on some NutriSystem or Weight Watchers type program. It hadn’t even occurred to me that people were inquiring about that. Michael mentioned it might be a possibility after he witnessed such an occurrence and saw me stammering and stuttering like crazy. Lightbulb moment. OH! They’re wondering if I joined Weight Watchers! Maybe I could join Marie Osmond and become a spokeswoman for NutriSystem. (I’ll only do it if I get to meet Donny!)

The short answer is no. I’m not doing any of that. No meal plan is delivered to my door. No pre-measured amount of food is planned out for my day. I eat. I drink. I Starbuck. Mmmmmm it IS peppermint mocha season, isn’t it?? I live with a chef! How could I do that even if I wanted to?

I made a commitment to myself last year to get in shape. I honor that commitment every single day. I added yoga to my very non-existent workout routine. It was hard. I was awkward. I couldn’t do half of the poses. I could barely touch my toes. On a GOOD day! I sweated. I cried. But most of all, I kept coming back. And guess what happened? My body started to respond. It started to change. And when those changes started happening, it motivated and change my eating. All by itself. Why was I working so hard and finally seeing results, and then eating a big plate of nachos? With extra cheese and sour cream? I started making better decisions.

Not everything I eat is healthy or good for me. (remember….chef.) But more is than not. I still had a piece of leftover Halloween candy. It was calling my name. So it was a mercy act. I had to put it out of its misery.

I also added a barre class to my twice weekly yoga class. It’s so funny how a year can change perspective on what is difficult. Barre is HARD! Barre is challenging. Barre is non-stop moving the entire time. I sweat like crazy. I breathe…..LOUDLY. I have a tendency to look down at what my feet are doing, but with playful reminding from my dear friend Julie, I *try* to look up more. My form is crap. But I’m doing it. My back might not be perfectly straight, but it’s straighter than last week. And one of my favorite parts of barre is that my yogi is also my barre instructor. I love her. Between her and Julie, they encourage, they cheer me on, and they never ever ever let me feel like I am less. How can I go wrong?

A friend of mine, Trisha, is doing Crossfit and is seeing the same amazing results. She is dropping weight, getting healthier and looks stunning. Not that she didn’t look amazing before, but she has that glow that naturally comes with get in shape. I admire her dedication and commitment for setting a goal and sticking with it. And she would say the same thing I am. There is no secret. It’s working hard. Every day. No cheat day. No “I’m going to splurge on milkshakes and french fries” day.

And while I’m still waiting to hit that magic number of 70, the over 65 lbs I’ve lost isn’t too shabby. I had to return a yoga top today that was too large. Actually, it was a size large. And it was too big. Say WHAT? Me who used to have to have to shop in the women’s department? This is the part that freaks me out just as much as the questions. I still have to stop myself and steer towards misses. I hold clothes up, eyeing them and think, no, this isn’t going to fit. Until I try it on and find that it does. How exceptional!

It may not be time to shop for a bikini quite yet, I have time before next summer to get me there. I know I can do it. Even if I don’t have the guts to actually wear a bikini on the beach, the fact that I could is what is my goal. I started off November revising and clarifying my goals for the month, knowing it was going to be challenging with holidays, and baking, and cold weather, and getting dark at 5:30. That small act of examining where I am and where I would like to be was huge for me. It helps ward off bad thinking and voices in my head telling I can have that one thing. On the other hand, I can still have my peppermint mocha from Starbucks. But a Tall instead of Venti. And sugar-free instead regular syrup. Oh, and hold the whip cream, but I’ll take the sprinkles.

yoga on the beach

Boys v Girls

I had a friend suggest this topic and as I thought about it, it fell right in line with a conversation I was having with a few other friends earlier this week and figured, sure, lets give this a whirl!

As most of my regular readers know, I have 2 boys. I’ve raised them to the best of my ability, with each of them having their own challenges. There are parents who are fortunate to have boys AND girls. My mother was blessed to have me first and then along came my brother. She had a nice balance between the two genders and we each put her through our own version of hell. The fact that she’s still alive and also NOT locked in a loony bin at this point says a lot about her character and strong will. I hope I got that from her. I think I did. My kids will say I did.

But then….

There are the mothers of only girls. They don’t have any additional testosterone flowing the house, unless they get a pet. So here’s how I see it. The doctor announces “It’s a beautiful baby GIRL!!” and the world turns pink. Pink everywhere. Pink rooms, pink clothes, pink ribbons for her hair. And then baby 2 is a girl. And just when you thought you had everything pink, you discover, oh no, there is WAY more stuff to buy! Diaper bags, and little frilly cover ups. Mounds of lace and pink! You can’t watch a Pepto commercial without thinking of the baby.

Then, as they grow up, there may be less pink, but the shopping hasn’t stopped. Dresses and shoes and make up and leggings and bows and cute little decorations for their rooms and bathroom and lockers and cars. There is crying. LOTS of crying and most of the time no one knows why. Some days it’s ok to her why she’s crying. Other days it’s waaaaaaay easier to tip toe all the way out of the house and sit outside til she’s done. Even in the rain. Or 46 below zero. PLUS wind chill.

Dads have to protect their precious little ones from the evil horrible wretched boys that will all too soon come searching for your princess. Lock and load, Dad, lock and load.

My boys have given me challenges, don’t get me wrong, but just in such a different way. They have made stupid, boneheaded decisions that make me question their IQ and their sanity. Or mine. I mean, the oldest went through an Emo phase that I never thought would end. I was starting to wonder if I should just resign myself to the fact that he would be working in some comic book or trying to go on the road with Fall Out Boy. But then, miraculously, he came out of it.

As I was thinking about all of this, I realized that worrying about an Emo phase or any of the stuff I worried about with them is nothing compared to the worries of a mom with more than one girl. She has to worry about the technology of today and what they are doing with it. Worry about boys (especially the “serious” boyfriend who, let’s be honest, only has one thing on his mind no matter how nice, upstanding, good grades, dad is a pastor, drives a BMW and always address you as “Mrs.”) and teen pregnancy, going to the Homecoming Dance or Prom, or the party that she says she’ll be home midnight and isn’t home yet. The heartbreak of the boy who said he loved her, til the next girl came along and she was dumped via text. The pimple that appeared right at the end of her nose on picture day. In the day of the life of a girl, that is traumatizing.

So even on my worst parenting feeling days, when Ryan brings that bad grade home (which so far this years he’s getting GREAT grades…..A’s even!!) or when he tells me his phone is broken AGAIN, that it’s not nearly as bad as raising more than one girl. I have the utmost sympathy and compassion for you. I truly do. God gave me two boys for a reason. Plus, I would be SOOO broke buying yet more clothes. And a mani/pedi session. And that cute bag. And did you see those shoes??????

boys v girls

The Life of a Procrastinator

I’m procrastinating…..RIGHT NOW!! Oh yea. Is it wrong to use my blog as a way to put stuff off? No, I didn’t think so. Cuz, really I’m doing something!! Just not what I should be doing. 

And I’m not even putting something off I don’t want to do. I got my 3 miles in. Awesome. I uploaded photos from yesterday’s beautiful wedding we attended for our dear friends daughter. (Just as a side note, I still can’t believe she’s old enough to be married! I still remember her as the little girl across the street. I cried many tears yesterday, but they were all happy tears!)

I also bought clothes to wear to the wedding. Clothes that I didn’t wear and need to return. This is where the procrastination kicks in. I have to go to the mall and I really really really don’t want to go back. Ugh! But I have to. I have 4 dresses that need returned. Sigh….

I’ve decided I no longer love to shop for myself. I used to L-O-V-E shopping! I imagined the day where my Richard Gere would hand me an AMEX Black card and get super offended when I told him the saleswomen were mean to me and he would escort me to the stores and insist, no demand, that they suck up to me. Of course, Roy Orbison would be playing on a constant loop as I twirled and giggled and fawned over the beautiful, perfectly fitting outfits the sucking up saleswomen brought for me. 

Yea, so, since THAT isn’t happening, I have to fend for myself. I discovered in this quest to find a dress, a simple freaking dress, that it’s way more difficult than anticipated. First of all, as I told a friend yesterday, I truly believe 95% of all clothes in the stores are separates. Not dresses. Tops and bottoms. Racks and racks. 3 dresses in the whole store. Is it the time of year? Is it that no one wears dresses anymore? I mean, what’s up with that?

Next on the problem list is that I now fall in between sizes. No big deal right? Wrong. Too tight and I look like a stuffed sausage. Too loose and it looks like tent. Not to mention that almost always, it’s guaranteed if I find a dress that I actually like, they won’t have my size. At all. I mean, there’s “too small” and then there’s size 2. Even 3 years AFTER my death, I will not wear a Size 2. 

So then, if I happen to find a dress that is close to my size, I snag it. And I study every flaw I find in my body for approximately 30 minutes. Bulge here. Too much cleavage there. Arm flab there. Sigh…. I yank it over my head, hang it back on the hanger and try the next one on. 

Then I just can’t decide which flaw is more noticeable in which dress. So I get them all. Bring them home, try them all back on again. I twirl. I bend over. I suck in. I try to breathe while sucked in. (Seriously, it’s a talent to be able to do that for long periods of time without passing out). I still can’t decide. Michael gets the final pick because honestly, I’m just exhausted at this point. I’d wear a sack or my sweats. Whatever. I don’t care. 

But now I have to return the 4 dresses that didn’t make the cut. I kept the one I actually wore to the wedding, but the rest are going back. And I’ll be in and out of the car, explaining why I don’t like it. Yes I tried it on before I bought it. Yes, I changed my mind. No, I didn’t wear it. See? Tags still on. SIGH………

But then I think of the money I spent on those 4 dresses and realize I need to get them back to the store. Maybe the laundry needs switching? Dishwasher need unloading? The floors for sure needs sweeping. 

OK, ok…..I’m going……..

Blog? Oh yea……

We just got back from vacation and I thought, wow, I should write a blog post about that. Then I realized I haven’t written a blog post in forever. For-ev-er. Well, what better time to start restart my blog after vacation AND on a Monday. As previously discussed, the ONLY day to start something is on a Monday. I mean, really, who says “Let’s start a new diet” or “I’m going to remodel the bathroom” on a Thursday?? No one. Well, there might be someone, but they need to get with the program. Starting new things should only happen on a Monday. (I might whip off a letter to suggest this to our local government.)

Now that vacation is over, I was going to download my 103 pictures and upload to Facebook because I know everyone is simply dying to see them. I mean, everyone is waiting with bated breath to see the pictures of Ryan on the beach and my witty little captions. How can I leave everyone waiting? It’s thoughtless, really. So I grab my camera to go up to my loft to start the tedious upload process (which I am willing to suffer through for my friends enjoyment) only to find that we have no internet access. Some little red x is where my little green circle is supposed to be. After a few minutes of clicking and getting no where fast, I place the call to the computer geek, aka, Michael. He seems to think I possess the ability to go downstairs to his lair of computer geekdom and figure it out while he’s telling me which cord to unplug, check this, look at that. What he doesn’t know is that I have set the phone down and keep saying “uh huh” and “nope” at various intervals while looking through the chest freezer, hoping to find some ice cream.

When I realize there is no ice cream (mental note to go to the grocery store) and pick the phone back up, he says he can fix it when he gets home. Of COURSE he can fix it when he gets home. Why else would I have bothered calling him about this in the first place?

Now, I can’t upload pictures, til later. So what to do?? Ryan is gone for the week (Yes, he gets a vacation with us and a vacation with his friend while I’m stuck in Ohio in the non stop rain and gloom. This is fair how??) so I don’t have him to drive around, or wait on him hand and foot as usual. Said geek is at work. It’s raining. So I decide the next best thing is to purge the DVR of 13 days worth of viewing. I have 2 episodes of Real Housewives of NJ, and 1 of Real Housewives of Orange County (which will be known in the future as RHoNJ and RHoOC, respectively, because it’s just too much to type out each time) and a whopping 9 episodes of General Hospital. I have watched GH since 1982. Even when I worked for the dreaded “Bank”, I still recorded GH daily. Beta, VHS and now the beautiful DVR. How did we ever live without it?

I decided to delete 7 of the episodes because A) it’s a soap opera, so it moves at an excruciatingly slow pace and B) everyone knows that nothing good happens on a soap except for Friday’s. The big weekend cliff hanger that leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat til Monday. Well, that’s the idea anyway. I flip through the pages of recorded shows and delete, delete, delete. But I keep seeing my RHoNJ and OC starting at me. I decide to start with RHoNJ first because honestly, Teresa is just crazy and it’s fun to watch the train wreck of her life. It helps me forget the train wreck of my life by not being able to upload my 103 vacation pictures.

When Michael gets home, I dare him to ask me what I’ve done all day. I had plans to pay the bills (online of course and I can’t very well do that with no internet access). I had plans to do a little Amazon shopping, buying my Chia seeds, my protein powders, my PB2, and maybe a new yoga outfit. Couldn’t do that either now, could I? And of course, say it with me, I couldn’t upload my 103 vacation pictures of Ryan on the beach with witty little comments for my friends to ooohh and aaahhh over because the stupid internet was down.

He should be grateful that I cleared out a good deal of the DVR. And Teresa is seriously a whack job.

Sam’s Club Addict

So today I’m making my monthly trek to Sam’s Club. I could be going to Costco, which is closer to my house, and way more convenient. But I will drive half an hour, one way, to go to Sam’s.

There’s a few reasons for this, none of which truly justifies my actions. So I have come to understand that I have an addiction to the place. I can’t break the cycle.

I started going to Sam’s Club when it was the only warehouse type shopping in the area. There was no Costco in all of Central Ohio. So it was Sam’s or nothing. I liked Sam’s 20 years ago. It was close to where I lived. They have lots of cool stuff. I could charge my monthly purchases on my Sam’s Club card. I loved that! I would pay for it the next month when I came in if things were tight that month. At Christmas, it was amazing! I could go to Sam’s for big ticket gifts, jumbo rolls of wrapping paper, and did I mention the huge cookie platters? Yes! I could also use my card at WalMart, which made it even more convenient during the holidays. Then I could pay on it over the next few months. Sweetness!

Then the area began changing. Not for the good. This is not because of the Sam’s Club, or because of the WalMart next door. The area has one of the largest immigrant populations in Central Ohio. I don’t know legal or not, I don’t ask for green cards when I see someone. But I can tell you, most do not speak English. At all. I can also tell you they are rude, and mean, most have a daily agenda of going out of their way to terrorize middle aged white women. I have had people literally cut in line in front of me and put their stuff on the belt when my stuff was already there. I have been yelled at in some language saying things I don’t understand, but hands are flying around and they get their way. I have seen their kids running loose in the store, knocking displays over. Store managers shake their heads but don’t say a word to them about it. It’s truly like inmates running the asylum.

When the people cut in front of me in line, I SWORE I would never be back there. And I haven’t. But there’s another Sam’s further away. It’s clean, it has the products I look for each month that Costco doesn’t carry, I can charge on my Sam’s card which you can’t do at Costco. And I don’t feel like I entered a third world country just to get a deal on Tide and boneless chicken breasts.

If this newer Sam’s becomes like the other one, I might have to stop warehouse shopping altogether.

Or I might learn to embrace Costco.